Monday, May 4, 2009

David Lee's Desert Digs

SELLER: David Lee
LOCATION: Palm Springs, CA
PRICE: $5,995,000
SIZE: 7,000 square feet (approx.), 6 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Designed by architect Donald Wexler for Dinah Shore in 1963 this legendary tennis estate defines timeless architecture. The 1.3 acre property offers a rare opportunity to experience a piece of architecture and design that embodies the enjoyment of past, present and future. Extensive renovations were done to bring the interiors current while honoring the bones of the house. The blue print for modern desert living, this property embraces the beauty of the environment by commingling the interior and exterior space, while using current materials Wexler might have used if available to him during original creation.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen puppies, Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter decided to dart out to the desert for a few days of much needed and rest and relaxation among all the greys and gays in Palm Springs. Therefore we don't have much time to pontificate and digress since Marc the pool boy is waiting to plug in the gin and tonic I.V. drip system that will smooth all the rough edges created by the gaggle of giggly and annoying women roaming the property like it's their personal bachelorette party playground.

Anyhoo, in honor of being among the cactus and extreme heat we thought we'd bring the children a little real estate desert dee-voonity in the form of a long, low and fully rehabbed residence owned by television titan David Lee being offered for sale with an asking price of $5,995,000.

For those who do not know and/or are too damn lazy to google Mister Lee, back in the early 1980s the man wrote for the boob-toob tour de force The Jeffersons, went on to write and produce a few episodes of Wings and Cheers, and then created, wrote and directed the award winning but ferociously annoying program Frasier about a couple of highly effeminate but allegedly straight psychiatrist brothers. Frasier, which by our blurry eyed count earned Mister Lee 8 Emmy nominations and five statuettes will surely keep lucky Mister Lee residuals rich the rest of his life.

Property records show the Mister Lee scooped up his desert digs back in December of 2002 when he forked over three million clams for a flat 1.34 acre estate with a Donald Wexler designed modernist residence built in 1963 for Dinah Shore,whose name is associated with a great big lezbo golf tourney in Palm Springs but who, apparently, was not into the ladees. Who knew?

Located in the lovely and expensive Old Las Palmas neighborhood that hugs the base of the spectacularly rugged San Jacinto mountain range, listing information shows the W. Hermosa Place house sprawls across (approx.) 7,000 square feet of meticulously modernized and eye-popping mid-century modernity and includes 6 color-coded bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms.

The multi-winged mansion includes walls of floor to ceiling glass that frame views of the very verdant and expensive to keep green back yard and towards the magnificent mountains beyond. The long and low structure is comprised of linear elements of stone walls, vast floor to ceiling panels of glass and a wood ceiling. In addition to the main house a tennis shack houses a fully equipped gym where Mister Lee and his man-friends can pump iron and a large sparkling swimming pool is surrounded by loungers and umbrellas for baking like a potato in the blistering desert sunshine.

According to our pal Kenny Kissintell, who cattily calls Mister Lee the very philanthropic, "Valentino of prime time tee-vee," Mister Lee's Los Angeles residence is in Studio City where records would indicate he lives in a large but somewhat modest house well-sited for privacy on Wrightwood Drive.

The real estate market in Palm Springs is currently in the terlit so Your Mama wishes Mister Lee all the luck in the world unloading his desert digs.

Now then, the bridzilla and her bitches have already starting causing an auditory ruckus so we're going to leave the children to their own devices and critical analysis of the property while we scoot over to the pool to see Marc about that I.V. drip of ice cold gin and tonics.

And p.s., we're taking tomorrow off to recover from our impending hangover using the good ol' hair of the dog method. Bye now.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

The pool area with those beautiful mountains in the background is awesome. So very movie star.

I can just see Lucy and Desi soaking up the sun and running lines with each other.

Then Frank and Mia will be over for sunset cocktails and a light supper and a movie.

Anonymous said...

Have a gallon of G&T for me Mama. Sventlana needs to get out the wooden spoon, wash it up and have it waiting next to the home computer. You know some of the children can't help but be bad when they read you will be away.

Anonymous said...

Where is the kitchen? Is there a kitchen?

Dean Martin said...

Oh look, isn't that Bing, Lauren, Sammmy and Rosemary Clooney finishing up a spirited set on the tennis court?

Who's that cute little tyke with Rosemary? Look at him scramble for those tennis balls. I'll bet he'll break some hearts when he grows up.

Let's all retire to the shade with cosmos. Bob and Delores should be here shortly.

Suzanne Somers said...

"Where is the kitchen?"

Oh dear. Rich people don't cook. We only order out.

Regina Reynolds said...

Mama is so damn devoted! even on vacation she cares about us chirren! Thanks for the postcard from PS and much love to Dr. Cooter.

Toyota Corolla Jackson said...

how adorable! each en suite terlit matches the budior! festive, no?

Anonymous said...

Momma Mia: I can't imagine how many swamp coolers is required to keep a place like that livable.

PS: Of course there is a kitchen -- probably just off the live in chef's quarters.

angeleyes said...

What a gorgeous home.. love it, love it, and love it some more. Regardless of the market, if it's price is fair, it should fly off the MLS. If not, Mr. Lee is shooting himself in the foot before he even gets started.

Glad you're having a nice vacation Mama. Thanks for taking time to write!

White Chocolate Mess said...

don't forget to drink lots of water, too, Mama! That desert can dry your ass out!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely love this house. Can't say the same for PS itself, which is not to say that I and my s.o. don't blow in from the East on JB every so often... we always see those same two older guys going up and down and around Palm Canyon and Indian Canyon, one in a wheel chair, which makes us demur when it comes to actually buying a pad out there... but this house....

Anonymous said...

Other than the pool, the view from the pool and the tennis court, absolutely HATE this place. The color coordinated bathrooms make me want to throw-up.

Anonymous said...

Who needs a kitchen when you have Cheeky's for breakfast and lunch and the fabulously retro (and retro-priced) John Henry's for dinner? Ooooh that rack of lamb.

Anonymous said...

1228--- I suppose your fantasies involve Mario Buatta?

Anonymous said...

Love it. It is the epitome of Palm Springs perfection. Great spaces, views, location. Interior color is easily fixed, the rest is hard to find all in one package.

thevinylvillage said...

Have a blast mama!

And oh my gawd that house is to die for.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:33

There are other alternatives between the book-ends of color coded bedrooms and Mario Buatta. What looks like the master bathroom in the Lee house photos for example is beautiful (though a bit sterile) but doesn't have the color-coordination madness of the guest rooms. After a couple of days stay in the Blue room, I would be petitioning for a transfer to the Lime room and so on... The color coding is just a bit too much.

Anonymous said...

That house sure is to die for. The interior decoration ... ummm, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Normally I'd hate all the obvious color coordination -- but it works here brilliantly (in pictures at least). Looks like a fun house--a house in which to have fun, that is. Shiny and crap-free--perfect for weekends if not full-time. Kind of the essence of Palm Springs fantasies in that regard.

Anonymous said...

You're just a fucking lazy, stupid bitch. You make us wait all weekend for this crap and then you say that you are going to post again until who knows when? You officially suck.

Joshua said...

that very well may be the most beautiful house in palm springs. i love it. too bad palm springs is palm springs. put that house in the hills and its worth buying.

Anonymous said...

Property Website:

http://www.dinahshorewexler.com/

Anonymous said...

I kind of like the vibe of the house, but I probably would not want to live there long-term.
Now, since all the sinks in the bathrooms are stainless steel, I have to ask - what about terlits? Stainless steel, too? I guess, I can't agree with that choice outside of prisons and plain lavatories... yuck!

Anonymous said...

I have been in this house when it was just listed on the market. While the pictures look devine and I would be swooning too the house itself is not as slick and polished as these pics let on.... There are crazy pipes and hoses running around on the roof that anyone can visibly see from the property..... This is bad form. The house hasn't been really touched in years... odd corridors, nasty old kitchen (why there are no pics).

The exterior is old school without any charm or glitz... old tiles that are a cracking...

What is good:

Lovely period work.
Huge Yard that goes on forever in all directions
Divine Pool and Pool House
Huge Workout Pavillion overlooking the Tennis Court
Good Heritage and Bones

What it needs is some updating and it would be uber fabulous!

P.S. It is not gated either.

angeleyes said...

2:08, thank you so much for the property website link.

Anonymous said...

put a ring on it! swoontastic.

Anonymous said...

This house has been in several magazines spreads over the years. I've seen it without all the color madness and it was divine. Beautiful bones, elegant and serene.

Anonymous said...

What a fun and chic vacation house! I love the matching bathrooms, what a great idea. And the views look incredible.

Anonymous said...

Most of central Palm Springs in up for sale, is it not? Last I looked almost every other place was on the market. PS can be lovely but in the winter it gets very very dark there very very early, especially if you are close to the mountain. Dusk begins around 3 pm. Spooky.

Anonymous said...

1:12 - I agree. This isn't someone's principal residence. It's a weekend party pad to have a bunch of friends come spend a few days in the sun & fun.

Princess Shotsavodka said...

Dusk begins around 3 pm. Spooky.
so does cocktail hour!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't this house featured on "Mad Men" last season? I could swear that Don Draper spent a hallucinatory night there once.

pch said...

I really like the architecture. The interiors, though, are silly. Those bedrooms...I have that horrible song from the Fanta commercials running through my head.

Starck Mad said...

Wow! LOVE the place! I can totally see a somewhat boozey Lucy and Desi (an Dinah) waltzing through the place.
Love it!

Anonymous said...

I don't comment here, EVER, but I love this house! From the floor to the ceiling, everything has color, texture and pattern.

The bathroom looks like something out of MTV's Real World, but the rest is top-notch.

Me likey!

Anonymous said...

Time Capsule.

Fuckin' sweeeeeeet.

Martin said...

Marvelous Designs!
I Buy Wood Stoves

Anonymous said...

Absolutely lovely house. Same vintage as me and it looks gorgeous (which I don't...)

One small point - despite the hoards of dykes swamping Palm Springs at the time of the Classic, Dinah herself was resolutely straight...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinah_Shore

Fabulous work as always Mama. Enjoy your day off!

Alessandra said...

I'm kind of grooving on the sherbet-y interiors, but I have a feeling if the Anons are correct about what we don't see in the photos, that the house may be a bit over-priced and need some work.

That said, I like it a lot. Not bad.

lil' gay boy said...

Mama, surely not THE Marc of the Parker? Honey, you'll need more than one day to recover from his G&Ts...

Vintage mid-century modern is not for everyone, and the somewhat precious color scheme may not be to everyone's taste; but I have to agree with Anon 1:42 ––– Time Capsule.

Fuckin' sweeeeeeet.
indeed.

The architecture is all the more successful when you consider that although decidedly upscale, the neighborhood isn't much to look at...

The house's siting & architecture frame the best of the views while screening out some mundane neighbors.

Princess Shotsavodka said...

how messed up do y'all think mama and dr.c are right about now? heehheeeee....

Anonymous said...

I have gone back to day 1 and read every word of Mama's and this is the first time I have felt compelled to comment.
This place is just great. Light, space, colour. Love it!!
Good morning from Australia.

Tracy said...

I can appreciate the architecture but the harvest gold/avocado/burnt orange colors bring back unpleasant memories of the early '70s.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with the 70's

Trauma Feldstein said...

east or west 70's?

Anonymous said...

Question...

Where I am from, if a property is in a contigency, and continues to show and look for additional offers, typically when a new offer comes in, the first offer has to either remove their contigency or loose the property.

In LA MLS when a property is "Looking For Back Up Offers" is it a similar situation? I don't get the point of looking at property and writting a back-up offer that is only honored if and when the primary offer falls, I would think it would only make sense if there was a bump clause like here.

Starck Mad said...

'Anon' felt the need to make sure we all knew 'Dinah was straight' A bit odd I think.

I mentioned that this place is worthy of Lucy, Desi, and Dinah strolling about with cocktails in hand.

Anonymous said...

SM - You're reading too much into it. I took the "Dinah was straight" comment to be directed at Mama's original post which called Dinah a lezbean. Mama has since changed the post to read "who knew she wasn't a lezbean".

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, I'm the 'Anon' that put Mama straight about Dinah's sexuality.

I'm a big ole lesbo, so please don't read too much into the correction.

:0)

Anonymous said...

Wow. You're such a douchebag.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps George Montgomery's swishiness has led some to conclude that Dinah was a lezbean....

Mercedes Guadalupe Cisneros Schwartz said...

I used to live in Palm Springs. Every year there is the Dinah Shore Golf Tournamnet, which coincides with a huge lesbian weekend party so I think Dinah was somehow "adopted" by the lesbians, kind of like I was in my tender youth back in San Fran. You certainly could be adopted by worse! It's quite a party. Like the White Party, only for gurls.

Anonymous said...

He must be thinking it is a good time to cash out, since the place across the street is up for sale for 13 mil. But their lot is four times the size of Mr. Lee's.
Up the hill you can get a nice large 1960's house with pool on Canyon Country Golf Course for 700-800k. Lot of property to pick from out there.

Seems everything is for sale in PS, but nobody is lowering there prices yet.

What ever did happen to the Suzanne Somers 35 mil compound. Is she still trolling it for a buyer?
http://realestalker.blogspot.com/2008/02/update-suzanne-somers.html

Anonymous said...

All it takes is one night out at the Thursday Street Fair downtown and you will know how sad and truly depressed Palm Springs has recently become...and how no mid-century modernist masterpiece can change that fact.

Anonymous said...

The owners of the Waterfall House in Palm Springs' south end have declined repeated requests to open the property for Mid-Century Modern tours. Craig Baskin and Donald Russell purchased the home in 2008 and recently completed an extensive renovation.